After the weekend's qualifiers, Grilled came to know that they will be facing old rivals United Warrior Team once more. With twelve league clashes between the sides, all of them in the S-League, as well as two cup games, this is undoubtedly one of the more storied fixtures in Birds lore.
It will likely not have as much a shine as the epic battles of yore, however, with the Warriors having emerged without a single point from their tumultuous campaign in II.2; there have even been whispers of the club's future being in doubt, which pained Tian Yonghang
"It would be a great pity if UWT went out of business." Tian, who has played six matches against them, scoring in four of those, said. "They were one of the teams I most liked to watch playing Grilled, back when I was a young fan, when they had guys like Afandi bin Zainal and Wu Kang-yin."
"And then I remember that 0-8 defeat, and I think, well..."
Both newbies are newbies and Ropelearner FC kept their places all too easily, as they disposed of Singapore Arm Force FC and Singapore Soccer Forces 10-1 and 6-0 respectively. Other than that, Grilled's cup bogey club Red Chaos made a quick return to Division Three, after stumbling from III.12, with Geylang-based FC Pires likewise bouncing back from relegation.
As for Farmer Bunnies, their new team to beat is Unium F.C, who came down from II.1 after dominating III.1. Drąsutis Steberiakas' side has plied a conventional 3-5-2 relying heavily on Israeli star striker Liad Boucai, and much will hinge on whether the Buns manage to contain the speedy Unium captain.
A number of Birds and Buns players will not be around for these new challenges, however - Colby Awyong
and Sandy Fu
will retire from the Birds after long years of service, while Robert Sing
, Zamil Yusuf
, Azizi Tahir Yasser
and Goh Guang Xin
were all released from Farmer Bunnies. It is also understood that Ron Murrell
, among others, has been told to look for a new club.
Goh thought that the announcement came a little too abruptly. "It's not like we didn't know what was coming, being on the wrong side of thirty-five and all, but the club should really have given more notice. At least they did the right thing with the severence package."
Finally, Grilled International declared that they would be pushing hard for promotion in the coming season, with Benfica 1904 and Shaka Zibby the only remaining actively-managed clubs in VI.113.
"I'll say it, if we don't go up, we will have only ourselves to blame." Tajit bin Mohd